Tips for Those with Disabilities on the Always Stressful Moving Process with Patrick Young of Able USA
If you’re living with a disability, you don’t need anyone to tell you that normal, everyday life can be a lot more challenging. Moving – from finding the right property, packing up, physically moving, and getting settled in your new place – is not your typical life event. It’s packed with stress – both mentally and physically. Here are some tips to make the process run a little smoother.
Finding a new place that is right for you You’re unlikely to find a home or apartment that is 100% accessible for your particular disability. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t factor it in the decision process, however. While it’s obvious that a person with trouble walking should refrain from buying a home or renting a place that is hard to access (tons of stairs, for example), you have to think about every little detail of your daily routine and make sure that your prospective home will be able to accommodate your lifestyle – not just now, but in the future as well. You might choose a place that would be appropriate to be modified. In this case, it’s especially important to know your budget inside and out. If you know you’re going to have to spend money on modifications, you may have to adjust your initial down payment/mortgage/rent ceiling. Some common renovations you might consider are widening doorways, installing a step-free shower, and adding a ramp to at least one exterior entryway. Know where to get help Are you a first-time homebuyer? Never rented before? Things can be challenging, especially for those with a disability. You should know that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has specific counselors for disabled homebuyers. You may also qualify for state loans and/or private grants. It’s also vital that you know your rights – especially when it comes to renting. As Zillow explains, the Fair Housing Act protects against discrimination based on disability. Packing and moving day There’s no way to get around it: packing and moving involves a good amount of risk of physical injury. Furniture is heavy. A box filled with books or documents is heavy. Trips and falls while packing and moving are common, as carrying large, awkward items is tough to do for anyone. If you have a disability, your risk is increased. It may be prudent to handle the smaller packing/moving tasks yourself and seek the help of a professional packing/moving service. Not only will you avoid the risk of injury, but professionals are working with better equipment and years of experience. They are better able than you are to get your stuff from point A to point B in one piece. Just be sure to compare rates before settling on any particular service. Settling in The move is only half the battle. Now you’re in a new home with a ton of unopened boxes. How do you tackle it? The first step is to locate your “open first” box. This would be a box that you packed up yourself, containing all of your necessities, like medication, toiletries, and disability aids. Your next step is to set up your bed and bathroom. After that, the kitchen. These are the most important unpacking tasks. Everything else can wait! You are allowed to take it slow. It’s not uncommon for people to take several weeks to get fully settled in, and that is ok. Think about it this way: what is worse – unpacked boxes in the corner or a strained back? Be sure to explore unpacking tips before you start. If you remember one thing during every stage of your move, it is this: don’t be wary of asking for help. Whether it’s help with the financing process, packing up your belongings, loading them on a truck, or unpacking – you have options. Take it slow. You are strong, but there’s no reason to test your own limits when there are so many ways to make things easier.